Rustic wonderland

A Happy Exhaustion

According to my husband, I came home smelling like the woods on Saturday, which is about right considering the photoshoot location I had just come from was a national forest.

You guys... I felt: exhilarated, exhausted, sun burned, and blessed. I woke up half past 5 a.m. after having gone to bed at 12:30 a.m. So clearly, I didn't have much sleep, but none of that matters when you're doing what you love.

Okay, so maybe I came home and basically passed out as my lovely husband showed y'all on Facebook...

...but the collaboration was perfect. Ever since I moved to Phoenix this past summer, leaving behind my photography networks, I've been dying to get back into some themed photoshoots.

I reached out to Michelle Herrick, the other photographer, about collaborating on this and she blew me away. We're talking make-up artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, and beautiful (agency) models. I was completely in my element and so grateful to be working with amazing artists.

This is what it looked like when we got to Michelle's house around 7 that morning...

After doing some of the model's make up at Michelle's house, we headed to Tonto National Forest to finish up the rest of the girls hair and make up....

And that is where they bravely faced the cold and changed in a nasty restroom with the fabulous clothes picked out by stylist Whitney Alexandra.

Don't get me started on Whitney -- she is killer with the styling! But I'll go into detail on that later.

While the girls dressed, I had my gorgeous assistant and wonderful friend Ana let me get some test shots of her as we explored the forest....

I know you're confused. Ana isn't the model. I know, I know. You just have to believe me.

And to tell you the truth, this post is just barely scratching the surface of the incredible (<-- I'm running out of adjectives here!) day that was. I have TWENTY gigabytes of photos to go through. That's 20GB. Seriously?! So there will be a post dedicated to just behind the scenes with LOTS more photos.

Right now I just have to tell you about my amazing husband. When I came home sooo exhausted and smelling like roasted marshmallows and mother earth, he had a sandwich waiting for me. Mouth full of turkey and muenster cheese, I said "whatever we're talking about right now, I can't guarantee I'll remember later. I'm drained." I didn't care about a shower or the twigs in my hair, I just focused on dropping my body on the couch.

I managed to mumble "please don't let me sleep more than 2 hours" as I rolled over and hugged the closest pillow on the couch while my heavy eyelids invited the deprived sleep. Jose woke me up later asking what I wanted for dinner and did it all on his own (including dishes!). After watching an episode of Dexter and finally showering, I climbed into bed and this boy of mine gave me a back massage.

*shakes head* I have no words, only gratefulness. And that's it. I realize how lucky I am to have someone that supports me, adds jelly to my sandwiches, and takes care of me. That's him... Jose :)

p.s. Aren't you excited about this photoshoot?!?!? I was exactly where I've been wanting to be. Exactly.